Tag Archives: Pergola lighting

Enjoying Your Outdoors with Garden Lights

Whether indoors or outside, we all have spaces we like to spend time on our property. Growing up, mine was our family library and now, it’s our back deck. I love to sit outside when the weather allows and enjoy the color and openness of the space. For many homeowners, the outdoor spaces of the home are places they love to enjoy, and with the addition of garden lights, they can enjoy them anytime they want.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we create custom landscape lighting designs for our clients’ needs and tastes. Oftentimes, we include garden lighting in our designs so they can appreciate the beauty of their property both day and night. Here are three examples of beautiful garden lighting.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.04.14 PMThis first garden lighting installation comes from a gorgeous Charlotte property. The yard has a number of brick walkways that lead to small pockets to enjoy, like this one, however it was too dark to use after night. OLP of Charlotte designed the perfect system that highlights the space, but doesn’t place attention on the fixture itself. Path lights were used along the walkways for safety and security while wash lighting was installed to bring out the details of the brick wall. I’m not sure about you, but I wouldn’t mind reading a book on that bench at night!

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.04.01 PMOur second example may be simpler, but it still makes a big impact on the garden space. The owners of this property have a great yard for family and friends to enjoy. One of the statement pieces is this pergola that acts as an entrance into the space. With greenery growing up the sides, it is gorgeous and the owners wanted to it to be appreciated. A down light fixture was placed in the pergola’s top beams to shooting light downward. It makes it inviting, but also brings out the color and details of the pergola.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.04.25 PMThis final example is intricate, gorgeous and makes quite the visual impact. It’s a waterfall that falls into a pool below. It includes stunning stonework on the falls itself and the edges of the pool. When designing the garden lighting for this project, it was important to highlight the stone and falling water without the lighting being overwhelming. Light fixtures were installed on the underside of the fall and you can’t even see them. What you can see is the texture and color of the stone and water.

Garden light is a great way to get more out of your favorite spots. To speak with one of our lighting designers, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Patio and Deck Lighting Enhance Summer Parties

The summer months are the best to spend time outdoors with friends and family. Whether it’s a pool party, graduation party or barbecue, it’s usually warm enough to spend the entire get-together outdoors; that is if there is some kind of outdoor lighting to keep the party safe after dark. I can’t count how many times I’ve been at an outdoor party and gotten so caught up in conversation and when it’s time to go (or to pick up), I can’t see where I’m stepping.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we’ve been called to many of our clients’ homes who have had incredible outdoor living spaces installed on their property. Unfortunately, after the build was complete they found out that they really needed lighting to get the most use out of the space. While, it is an easier installation when lighting is planned for while designing an outdoor structure, we are always happy to add lighting to a space to make it safe, secure and usable.

Take this pool and patio for example. Amy and Dennis Dowling, who design and install landscape lighting on Long Island, were called to this home after the owners had this incredible pool built, surrounding it with a beautiful pavers and landscaping. While gorgeous, this space would be dangerous without sufficient lighting. Someone could trip on the paver squares leading the pool, or even worse, someone could trip and fall in the pool! To make sure that this area is safe for the inevitable insurgents of friends, Amy and Dennis installed patio lighting throughout the entire space within the flower beds.

As you can see, they utilized copper path lights as their primary fixture, but it is a slighting taller path light than the normal one. By using a taller fixture, the spread of light is wider, illuminating more of the surrounding patio and landscaping. If they had used shorter path lights, more lights would be needed. I’m not sure what my favorite part of this project is, but it may be all the colors that can be appreciated with the lighting. The greens, purples and pink are stunning.

This next project showcases a summer staple: the dock. This dock jets off from a deck with pergola and hammock. During the day, the homeowners’ kids love to jump off the dock into the water below while they sit and relax in the shade. At night, however, the space became unusable because it was too dark. You couldn’t see the wet spots of the deck that may be slippery or where the dock ended. Additionally, the pergola that the family loved to entertain under during the day, couldn’t be enjoyed either, until lighting was installed.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives used both deck lights and down-lights for this install. Deck lights were placed on several of the dock posts to make sure that the entire thing was properly light. The wiring was placed on the underside of the dock so not to be an eyesore.

In the deck area, down lights were installed in the eaves of the pergola, shining down through the beams. The shadows it creates on the surface are lovely and provide an intimate, warm feeling.

Lighting is key to outdoor spaces that are usable at all times. Without it, spaces like these can be unsafe as people try to navigate the structure in darkness. If you have questions on how deck and patio lighting can help enhance your outdoor space, please reach out to your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.


Outdoor Lighting for Pergolas, Gazebos and Trellises

Shade structures are a growing category in the outdoor living industry. More people are adding pergolas, gazebos, trellises and arbors as an added design feature. They often define different areas of an outdoor living area, and when outdoor lighting is added to highlight the structures at night, a beautiful and romantic place can be created.

gazebo-lightingTake this beautiful gazebo for example. It is so sweet and lovely; it would be a shame if it wasn’t able to be enjoyed after dark. The same principles of outdoor lighting design apply to illuminating outdoor living structures as they do any residential or commercial property; the light should enhance the space without being the focal point. Here, the designer placed well lights along the base of each column giving a beautiful wash of light. While the columns are perfectly lit, the light fixtures themselves are barely visible. I also love that the trees along the side of the gazebo are lit creating a romantic spot to sit and enjoy your company.

Pergola_and_swing_outdoor_lightingWhen I see this picture, I can’t put help but to think of my husband. He would LOVE to have a space like this to lay back and relax in a hammock. The pergola above the patio creates the feeling of an outdoor room. The pergola lighting ensures that someone will unwind on that hammock and gaze up at the stars. Hmm, where to I add my name to the list?

This small pergola is used as an entryway between the patio and yard, clearly defining the separate spaces. By placing the down-light on the top of the pergola, that separation is apparent at all times of the day.pergola-lighting Looking at it from this angle, the pergola invites visitors to move from the yard into the well let patio beyond.

One of the things I don’t understand is not getting the most out of what you invest in and that goes for outdoor features. We have a neighbor that has a beautiful water feature, but you can’t see it at night! This outdoor lighting project is a great example. With its curved lines and iron scrolls, this gazebo is beautifully ornate. The urns inside add to that whimsical feeling. How unfortunate would it be if you couldn’t see it like this after nightfall? Our outdoor lighting designer in New Jersey installed outdoor lighting around the gazebo for this gorgeous affect.

If you have questions regarding gazebo, trellis, arbor or pergola lighting, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.

Pergolas, Arbors, Covered Porches and Outdoor Lighting

Turn you pergola into a evening gathering spot with the addition of lights

Turn you pergola into a evening gathering spot with the addition of lights

The pergola is already a beautiful  and striking addition to any landscape. Pergolas add charm and an air of romance few other structures can compete with. Imagine taking that charm and turning it up a few notches, by the addition of lighting  your pergola. Many homeowners are doing just that.

Many other outdoor structures come alive with the addition of lighting as well. Trellis’, arbors and covered patios are breathtaking with the addition of lighting. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives has seen an increase in the amount of installations of lighting these outdoor structures. People are spending more time outdoors and focusing on the beauty in their own backyards. Not only does the lighting add an ethereal glow to your outdoor space, it also extends the amount of time you are able to enjoy your structure. Adding lights to a pergola or covered porch will allow you to enjoy it throughout the evening hours, as well as the daytime.


This arbor makes the surrounding area seem enchanted with the addition of illumination

A pergola or an arbor’s shape lends itself to illumination. When lighting any structure you want to take the standard design principles of outdoor lighting into consideration. These are the width, height and depth. In order to properly light any structure, you want to find the architectural breaks in the structure and focus your lighting within these breaks as well. For example, if your pergola is constructed with columnar sides, these sides would be a great point of interest to add lighting. The same can be said about the roof beams as well, which look surreal with light dancing off them. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives can meet with you to evaluate what parts of your pergola, arbor or covered patio would be best suited to get the most effect from lighting.

Extend the hours of enjoyment on your covered porch with lighting

Extend the hours of enjoyment on your covered porch with lighting

Covered porches can have the same architectural interest as a pergola. Today’s covered porches can also have columns to use as a focal point in lighting, as well as other design attributes such as custom stonework, individual architectural pieces worked into the structure, such as key stones, arches and in some cases the ceilings in the covered porches are finished out with high end moldings and tongue and groove bead- boarding. All of these points of interest could be considered a candidate to illuminate.


With outdoor lighting you get a place to relax around the clock

Points of refuge and relaxation can also serve as a focal point for lighting in your pergola, arbor or covered porch. If you have a swing hanging in your pergola, commonly referred to as a “pergola swing”, adding illumination would allow you to sit in your structure at night and gaze into the heavens. A seating area within a covered porch could also serve you well into the twilight hours with the addition of lighting.


These palms come alive at night with lighting

We must also never forget that adding illumination and proper lighting to your pergola, arbor or covered porch will add interest to your landscaping. Many pergolas and arbors are surrounded by lush foliage and gorgeous flowering vines, like roses. By adding lighting to your structure you can enjoy the blooms into the night. With proper lighting applied to areas of interest the landscaping will look so good, even mother nature will blush.


Lighting changes this trellis into a masterpiece in the evening

If you are looking for a way to add charisma to your pergola, arbor or covered porch give Outdoor Lighting Perspectives a call to set up a night-time demonstration. You will never have to stop enjoying the beauty of these structures once the sun has set again. Call us at 800-447-1112 or contact us at  http://www.outdoorlights.com/contact-us/free-consultation.html to set up a free consultation.

Is path lighting an art or a science?

In all lighting, there is both an art and a science. From a scientific perspective, there are all types of bulbs and fixtures that can accomplish so many objectives. Bulb science is constantly changing and improving. Let’s look at LED for example. Although the science of LED lighting has been around for a really long time, it’s just become popular of late. One of the challenges with LED is that the light emitting devices are in diodes and not in bulbs. You may have seen the small diodes which are the small round light areas. If you look at a fixture or flashlight or something else that uses LED light, you will see the series of small circles that make up a single light source.

Pergola lighting

Pergola lighting

The problem with these diodes is that each of them individually is not necessarily very strong. They get strength in numbers. LED is really designed to be more of an indicator light like the dim green light that signifies that your computer is plugged in. So, there is very much of a science to lighting.

Copper directional spot light

Copper directional spot light

But, there is also very much of an art to lighting design and a level of trade expertise to professional light installation. From an artistic perspective, the visibility of the fixture is an early decision. In some situations, you want to see the light fixture. In other, you want to have all the focus on the item being illuminated. With architectural (house/building) lighting, it’s usually better to just see what’s illuminated and not see the light source.

In landscape lighting or garden lighting, often times you will see the light source. Whereas landscaping serves to shield architectural lighting fixtures, there is often nothing to shield landscape lighting fixtures since the fixtures need to sit a couple feet in front of what they’re illuminating. In that case, the fixture design is of monumental importance. A copper fixture is perfect because it’s stunning when first installed and equally as wonderfully as it patinas naturally to fit into your garden or landscaping.

There are many more areas of landscape lighting such as how to space the light fixtures. If there’s a particular question you’d like us to answer or a topic you’d like us to write about, just comment using the comment feature and we will use that content suggestion for our upcoming blog posts.

Happy Holidays!